Friday, November 5, 2010

For people allergic to wool, one's heart can only bleed

I have so many ideas for new knitting designs to sell, mostly shawls. Which if you'd known me growing up, would never have believed of my butch-ass self.

  1. Tarot card bag - The idea for this will be knit on 000 needles (000 = reallyfreakinsmall, lol). Otherwise the bag will be able to fit a fairly healthy pony *and* one's tarot cards, rectangular
  2. Tarot card Shawl - Of the Tarot suits, obvy, square
  3. Tattoo shawl - Picking several of the classic tattoo images to make a square &/or semicircular shawl
  4. Pennsylvania Dutch Hexen Shawl - To be named Yuscht For Schee or 'just for nice' in the Pennsylvania Dutch Dialect. The design came to me in a dream & has been pestering me ever since
  5. Bat Shawl - No I'm not a Batman nut. I got it from a Chinese good luck symbol (just typo'd 'luck' as 'lick', it's been a while *shifty eyes*. This will be a short-row project so I can either a) Become proficient in short-row shaping once & for all, or b) Finally go truly bull-goose batshit (hah, see what I did there?) bargain basement crazy
  6. A hat with cabled skull motifs - This idea is truly aces & the name of it is SO KEWL I don't even want to divulge it so it can't be nicked. No, I'm not paranoid, why? *Grabs you by the lapels* WHY? WHAT? WHAT HAVE YOU HEARD?!...*ahem*
  7. Several varations on a Steampunk Shawl that I am working on including a Lovecraftian subgenre one (now with more Tentacles! *snork*) These will include gears (cogs), wrenches, lightning bolts, goggles & trilobites. So excited about these.

Anyway. I also have another idea And I'm somewhat reluctant to post it, because people might get spitty about it. Not that I think I'm anywhere famous enough that people will even notice or it'll make local let alone national news or something, really. But it only takes one pebble to start an avalanche, ya know?

I want to design knitted veils. Not wedding veils, veils like harem or Moslem veils. my fae was HELLA cold last winter & I thought a pretty laceweight wool veil, with a silk cord tie or even a fine silver, gold or copper chain would be prettier, downright sexy, honestly, & more breath-permeable than a big chunky scarf. Not that I don't love me a big-ass scarf. I just think that the veils would be interesting to design & wear, & totally available for cosplay as well. BTW, research cosplay further @ your own risk & probably with Safesearch ON. There's some pix out there that would make Caligula blink, lol.

I don't have a fear of controversy, controversy usually means people are kicking against a change that is usualy going to happen whether people damn well like it or not. I do have a bullshit level that's nadir is WELL below sea level & listening to someone's rant about me 'stealing' someone else's cultural artifacts for my financial benefit, &c, will make me eyeroll myself into a migraine. I get it, I do. I would guess Irish people visiting an "Irish" bar decorated in Early Leprechaun Kitsch probably want to gag on their Guinness. The inspiration is indeed from that culture & those items, but I feel the need to create my variations of it & yes make money off the idea.

I don't know. Maybe I'm just having preemptive hypersensitivity about the whole thing.

Sometimes you just have to cast on.

Wednesday, July 21, 2010

Dub T3h Efffffff....

So. I come into the library to check the intarwebs, because I didn't feel like toting my laptop around. It's crowded but there's a station with cleaning supplies in its chair. Now I go to the library all. the. time. It's shouting distance away from my house. Everyone that works there knows me. I know full well those cleaning supplies are the library's to clean the computer keyboards when there's a moment free. So I ask the guy @ the computer next to the cleaning supplies if they're cleaning it.

"Oh, no. Someone's sitting there." he hastily assures me. I KNOW full well the freezedried wackaloon is lying. but I'm not in the fucking mood. So I sit down to wait. Behind him. He turned & said something about 'ten minutes' yackity smackity blahblahblah. I looked him in his beady eyes & firmly told him I was waiting where I was supposed to to be next in line for the computers & went back to ignoring him.


He promptly became Chary McSuspicious, photo evidence ->here<-. Because wearing cardigans on your body is SO fuckin' passe, haven't you heard? Nahhh, it's all about the thriftstore sweater flung ever so nonchalantly over your greasy combover while you do everything short of monkeyhump the computer monitor so noone can see your flavor of kink. You are SO subtle, sir. No one would EVER think you might be looking at something illicit, oh, say, gay asian teen midget bestiality snuff porn or anything. Noooo. Because NOTHING says 'casual' like A SWEATER OVER YOUR HEAD while you surf the internet in public, while fidgeting & casting terrified glances over your shoulder every 1.34 minutes and/or whenever someone walks behind you.

Sure enough, once he got done looking at long lost nude pix of Minnie Pearl or joining the GOP or whatever, he takes the sweater off his head, takes the cleaning supplies out of the chair next to him & scampers off nonchalantly.

I cannot make this shit up, I can only display it to prove that I am NOT the batshitcrazyloon in this scene...

Tuesday, July 6, 2010

Your Daily Dose of Fiber In One Sitting

Hey kids. Sorry I've been so lax about babbling random nonsense at you. Grab a snack & a drink, hit the bathroom, then let's get right down to it, shall we?

I made it to 39 years old with only minor damage, thanks for asking. My birthday was nice & quiet & the cake was NOT a lie. My friend Paul who is an awesome cook, made Pork Florentine for my birthday dinner, as I am a slave to the swineflesh. It was, of course, delicious, with asparagus & wild rice. Mom made me lemon bars & Paul bought a Carvel strawberry ice cream cake that was quite good.

Writing: I am thinking of rifling through my older blogs & picking out OBG's (Oldies But Goodies) editing & reposting them. I think it will give me practice in editing, obviously, but also trying to have a less tangential way of writing. Maybe not, as the old saw is that you should write what you know & there are very few people who know more about rambling on about nothing much like I do. But to tell stories to a bunch of strangers over the intarwebs, I need to be less scattered so I don't get a Greek Chorus of “WTF?” & accompanying baroo faces.

Onto the Fiber Nerdery!

Embroidery is going slow, as I've only been doing it for a few months & nature of the beast. Working on a steampunk sampler, just a cog with some varied stitches circling it. I'm working from the outside in. If I should be working from the inside out,don't tell me, my illusions are all I have right now. No, seriously, once I finish the outer twiddly bits I shall work from center outward on the actual cog itself as it's obviously the central motif. Varying shades of brown, gold & copper with a little kicka-POW of electric blue.

Knitting; I so love it, but I need more focus, definitely. I need to throw down some stash-busting basic knits, finish some secret prezzies (shifty eyes) and hammer out some designs so I can start pimping them online, as this 'broke while doing something I'm right tired of insteada broke doing something I love' schtick is working my last nerve. I have a brief fingerless glove-hat recipe here, cause I'm original like that. Yer mileage may vary:

Sandy's Basic Recipe for Hats & Fingerless Gloves

  • Brown Sheep Lamb's Pride Worsted Weight (85% wool 15% mohair) color of your choice and/or yarn that you like that swatches up the same. I knit from tight to on gauge, loose knitting makes me all spitty
    #7 circulars in 16” & 8” or DNPs

Hat (fits my 23” squash head snugly):

  • CO 72, join for round, PM to denote begin/end of round making sure not to twist your stitches
  • 1”-2” k2, p2 ribbing, depending on whether you want to roll this up for extra ear-warmth
  • 4”-5” stockinette or until you narc out from boredom
  • k6, k2tog to PM, then k5, k2tog next row &c.
  • BO when you get to 8 or less stitches, thread tail through final stitches & pull tight, weaving in ends

  • Gloves (make 2 unless you only have 1 hand for whatever reason, fits my 8-9” paws/man hands snugly)
  • CO 28 join for round, PM to denote begin/end of round making sure not to twist your stitches
  • 6 rows k2, p2
  • 7-8 rows stockinette
  • This is where it gets a little hinky:
    Now knit/purl back and forth for the thumb hole, slipping the first stitch of each row, 9-11 rows in all, thumb size depending
  • on the last row k2tog to join back into the round & KFB (knit front & back of next stitch to get back to 28 stitches.
  • 2 more rows stockinette, then 5 rows k2, p2, binding off in pattern, weaving in stitches, &c

Spinning: So, Paul was @ the local Saturday Arts' Market recently (overpriced tchotchkes galore). He texted me to let me know there was a woman there with her spinning wheel. I am learning to spin on a Spindolyn & enjoy it immensely. It's one of the only spinning options available to me due to space/financial restraints & with a little patience (stop laughing) I can actually spin quite a bit on it before it has to be unloaded off the shaft. So I shimmied down there to see her in action, stopping here & there to pat people's dogs & kvetch about the heat. The spinning lady (I'm sorry her name escapes me but the company/LLC/whathaveyou is called Canterbury Spinning. After chatting her up a bit & throwing some of the Gordon charm at her, she dug briefly in a Rubbermaid container & handed me a big fistful of mohair wool. SCORE! Thinks I, & giggling maniacally I crammed it in a ziplock bag I had handy & scampered home. While I am not a mom, I do have several 'mom' purses which, as I have theorized before is probably the D&D basis for the item 'Bag of Holding' in which people can store up to a ton of equipment & suchlike & pull it out as needed.

O to the MG. This was an uncarded clot of wool, straight off the goat. Lovely shine & beautiful crimp, but...It was tangled. It had random foliage in it. The goat it came from coulda done with a Selsen Blue dip, as there is a lot of dander in it. But I forged onward. Using my own hairbrush I began plucking & twitiching & prying this mess apart. Being one of life's 'Pickers' this was actually quite fun for me. And before you ask, no, I'm not using that hairbrush for myself again, I never really used it in the first place, which is why I commandeered it for duty.

This fistful of wool turned into a cookie tin about 3” deep & 7” across full of shiny white floof, like milkweed seed tufts, silky & dainty. Spinning it has been completely different from spinning the Colonial top I've been working with. First off, no one will tell me what sheep it comes from, so I'm as clueless as you. But the Colonial spins up with at least an arm's length of draft before I have to wind on. It's easy to see that the Mohair comes from a goat because it's STUBBORN & FUZZY, SRSLY. It's a short draft and even with all the pre-drafting it's a bit of a struggle. I'm assuming the minimal processing (koff) is the issue & a commercial/professionally prepared top will go a lot smoother. But, oh, it's shiny & foofy & coming up from a flat white in the tin to a pretty creamy white in a laceweight 'S' twist. & I still have about a 1/3 of a handful to clean & draft.

All right. I'm off to do arty things & write. That is all.

Monday, May 17, 2010

Before I Sputter Out

Hi kids. Here's the washed swatch. It grew about an inch wider, call it 7". But because I'm a twit I have no idea how much longer it got, but it's currentlehhh 4.75". I know, i need to be more exact in my measurements, because it's going to be the difference between a garment fitted for me or for the late great Andre the Giant. Either way, riveting, I'm sure. I am glad that I seem to be a very even knitter, as I read Recently in Stephanie Pearl-McFee's blog that 'rowing out' winds her up, & frankly it does me too, vis a vis my OCD perfectionist issues. So I'm happy with the cogwheel lace except for a few minor points:
  1. Even one repeat is too long to use for the collar, because my neck is approximately 4x thick than it is long. Genetics, feh.
  2. If I tack in another repeat on the wrist it's going to be baggy which defeats the purpose of lace, which, like insecure celebrities, is to be seen. I'm thinking about tacking the daisy lace if the repeat slots in because then i could put in buttons as a neat little design feature. Only problem with that idea it that the YO's in this yarn/gauge is that the holes are nearly big enough to put my pinkie through, so hm...

So I shall jack with more swatching, this time with the idea of the sleeve caps. Which if things go like they do in my head, will be brimming over with W1N. There might even be tuck pleating. Of course things in my head also progress with me being waited on with stern devotion by giant bald twins, so don't put too much money on my psyche.

For all my extempore knitting, I need to let go of the idea that something can only be constructed in one direction and only of one fiber art (only knitting, only crochet, &c). It literally makes me queasy to think about making part of this sideways, as I *insert jazz hands HERE* envisioned as necessary for the construction. There are times when my gut is sright & other times when I'm fairly sure it rides the short bus.

I need to get some rechargeable batteries for my camera. It's a perfectly decent, actually quite nice camera other than its rampaging case of gluttony. It was given to me by my darling Best Friend (International Division) Crystal, due to the fact that most Canadians are sweet like that unless you give them a hockey stick or take away their poutine.

Ok I need to go swatch & get in a little drawing & plan out a secret friend project. SO secret I can't even hint, as the recipient will totally twig to its making with even one of the factors *tiptoes away giggling*

Sunday, May 16, 2010

Steamshrug Sketches

Okidoki then. My first swatch came out ok. Little short even after washing, I'll post links to those later, but first I shall post the sketches for the idea, thusly:

I like the swatch, though after washing it's short about an inch for going around my wrist, so I'm going to tinker with tacking in a single skinny lace repeat to make up that inch & see how that works out. The length is good though. For the fiber geeks who like the technical side of things, it's Lion's Pride Fisherman's Wool in 'natural' & 'nature's brown'. That might only be for the swatching progress if I find something nicer & it doesn't cost a metric-ass ton of shekels. But LB is way cheap for a pretty standard, solid yarn. I think I'm just grexing over it because my ODC perfectionist thing makes me frog the everliving shit out of swatches, let alone actual projects to *grind teeth in perfectionist existential histronics HERE* make sure it's right the 1st time even though:
  • It's a goddam SWATCH, it's supposed to be all eff'd up
  • I have, oh, FIVE MILES of this friggin yarn, I can spare 1/10th of a mile for swatching
  • They makin' that shit eeeeveryday. Both wool & the sheep it comes off of

I was worried @ first about people nicking the idea, or 'bitin' my steez' as the hip kids say. But where
  1. I'm winging it
  2. It might likely be a one-off
  3. The pretty solid assumption that about 10 people read this blog

I'm not losing much of the miniscule amount of sleep I already get.

Other than that, nothing much new, posting this from the bagel joint, where apparently their hiring guidelines include somewhere near the top:

  1. Hire the most miserable, pissy, overprivileged, currently societal accepted standard of pretty TWATS for public customer service
  2. Insist that they make NO attempt to be personable at all whatsoever

K, I'm off for an espresso bean frappe & some more swatching. Talk amongst yerselves

Saturday, May 15, 2010

Getting my fecal matter conglomerated

Alternate title: Yeah, That's Right, I Said It

OK. Confession time: I have been a slacker punk ass bitch & I need to cut it out. I spent ALL of last Sunday in bed & That Will Not Do. I am a world class-black belt-high test-you betcha-no joke-straight up procrastinatrix & all around asshat @ tripping myself up & I'm making a list to hammer out exactly what needs doing. Go get a drink, snack, hit the bathroom this is gonna be a compendium, no lie:

  1. Embroidery/Sewing - Mom's eyeglass case, my favorite skirt, a secret project for a friend *shifty eyes*, decorating a favorite jacket, various 'sampler' ideas, fake fur wrap with embroidered satin lining, contemplating making my own skirts

  2. Knitting - 3 secret friend projects *again with the shifty eyes, don't trust me as far as you can throw me. Just because I'm generally polite doesn't mean I'm not a blackhearted weasel who'll sell you to Mos Eisley slave traders for your weight in lace weight alpaca yarn given the chance* Anyway. Swatching & designing for steampunk lace shawl & steampunk knitted shrug. knitting decorative apron to get rid of some ack-rylic yarn, because I dasn't set it aflame since the burn test *terrified squealing @ flash-flare & horrible bubbling stench*. Meh, it'll be easy to clean & give me practice @ seaming & short rows. Final tweaking the Fin & Haddie Pattern & finally posting it for sale.

  3. Spinning - Finish the length of green I have on the spindolyn, wash & set the twist before plying it with the black already done. Practice finer weight yarn with the variegated I have as well as making yarn with two colors IE: blackredblackred, repeat as needed. Sigh wistfully at ridiculously priced spinning wheels, including secondhand ones. You'd think the effin things were made from the crosses @ Golgotha for fucksake. Chew lip thoughtfully & narrow eyes @ kick spindle online pointed out to me by friend Moonie who wants one as well & apparently misheard 'misery loves company' as 'ENVY loves company', lol...

  4. Drawing - Swear furiously @ Gimp for eating several key pieces of art. Work on redrawing key scenes from first 3 chapters of Nonesuch Papers while contemplating the kind of unholy pain that would make Mengele's eyes water on Gimp's creators. Try different techniques for digital drawing & actual styles of drawing.
  5. Writing - Blog more regularly if nothing more than updating that I spent yackitysmackity hours on whatever above I pick up on whatever day. Redo Chapters 1-3 of The Nonesuch Papers as they are utter puerile crap & need paring. Work on idea spoofing the supernatural detective/cop chick lit glut, tentative title: Wolf In Sheep's Clothing

I will try taking update pix, as it will encourage *kofguilttripkof* me into actually getting off my copious caboose to get this shite done. The camera stone cold SNARFS batteries, but it's currently cheaper than buying one.

Love you, & it's years past time I started loving myself.

Saturday, January 16, 2010

Good Morning, Goddamit!

Hi there I've been awake since 3am waiting for the rest of you to get the hell up so I can get things done SIX HOURS WASTED ZOMG, so I got breakfast at the overpriced bagel place because the place that just has good coffee which is really all I wanted didn't open until NINE WTF, I mean like, yunno? They're losing 3 hours worth of MONEY, so I had to settle for substandard coffee and FLOCKS, HERDS, PODS of yuppies all BELLOWING their dominance calls at one another & completely invading my personal space & one of the runner lesbians who was like the LOUDEST was really sweet and complemented my tattoos because chicks DIG me, *dance* Doncha wish yer girfren was WRONG like ME & I REALLY SHOULDNA had that coffee because now I can hear YOUR hair growing & the good coffee shop didn't have an internet connection today so I hadda walk alla way over to the library with all the skeevy street people (aka garbage blanc) bellowing THEIR dominance calls, but I'm just checking my email to let you know on the way to the library I saw a squirrel that scored a WHOLE GRANOLA bar & he was eating it like a fat man in a fur coat eating a whole rack of ribs & it was so flipping funny & I hafta go knit now kthxbailuvlol

OMG I almost totally forgot I got to return the dark yarn for lighter yarn even though they shook their fingers at me & I batted my eyelashes at them & solemnly promised not to ball up the yarn again until I was SURE I was gonna use it. HEE! You cannot resist me, you can only hope to contain me!